Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Space Systems

Unmanned space systems, including vehicles, robotics and supporting technologies, as well as technologies for space situational awareness

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June 6-7, 2018,
Westin Arlington Gateway Hotel
DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office is hosting a Virtual Proposers Day to provide information through pre-recorded videos about TTO’s goals and areas for investment in advance of the mid-June release of the “2018 Disruptive Capabilities for Future Warfare” Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The event also will provide an opportunity for companies and individuals to meet with TTO program managers to discuss concepts for advanced research, development, and demonstration of systems for military missions.
May 3-4, 2017,
In-Person and Virtual Meetings
DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) focuses on conceiving, designing, developing, and testing advanced technology platforms that provide U.S. forces with overwhelming tactical and strategic advantage, including vehicles, weapons, and other full-scale, potentially field-deployable systems. Whether designed to operate on the ground, at sea, in the air, in space or across domains, TTO platforms and supporting technologies have a common origin: as innovative ideas generated by program managers (PMs), companies, or individuals. TTO periodically hosts Proposers Days to describe the kinds of innovations it is most interested in and to hear from companies and individuals about their most exciting new ideas.
Satellites today are launched via booster rocket from a limited number of ground facilities, which can involve a month or longer of preparation for a small payload and significant cost for each mission. Launch costs are driven in part today by fixed site infrastructure, integration, checkout and flight rules. Fixed launch sites can be rendered idle by something as innocuous as rain, and they also limit the direction and timing of orbits satellites can achieve.
National Security Space (NSS) assets, critical to U.S. warfighting capabilities, traditionally reside in geosynchronous orbit to deliver persistent overhead access to any point on the globe. In the increasingly contested space environment, these exquisite, costly, and monolithic systems have become vulnerable targets that would take years to replace if degraded or destroyed. DARPA’s Blackjack program aims to develop and demonstrate the critical elements for a global high-speed network in low Earth orbit (LEO) that provides the Department of Defense with highly connected, resilient, and persistent coverage.
Recent technological advances have made the longstanding dream of on-orbit robotic servicing of satellites a near-term possibility. The potential advantages of that unprecedented capability are enormous. Instead of designing their satellites to accommodate the harsh reality that, once launched, their investments could never be repaired or upgraded, satellite owners could use robotic vehicles to physically inspect, assist, and modify their on-orbit assets. That could significantly lower construction and deployment costs while dramatically extending satellite utility, resilience, and reliability.